Okay. Here's the deal.
If you have no feed, I'm going to have no reminder when you update your site. I'm going to have no little niggle in my feed reader to remind me to go to your site. I am likely going to forget about your site altogether and never come back again. Sad, but true.
So God Bless those who have feeds.
But what are people who have only partial feeds thinking?
I understand the splogging concerns. I think a whole .00005% of partial feed users I know are in danger of being splogged.
Which leaves me to imagine: why only have partial feeds?
Reason 1: So I will come and look at your pretty design.
Sorry, but I already saw your design and either liked it or didn't. Either way, I'm not going to read your content unless I, um, like your content. Pretty is as pretty does. And frankly, after I've seen the site once or twice, I stop rolling over the mouseovers obsessively and I stop oohing and ah-ing over the design. It becomes invisible, and I ... read your content. I don't need to visit for that.
Reason 2: So I will come and comment.
Here's the thing: I have to read your post to become inspired to comment. And here's the other thing: you can have your whole post to persuade me to come visit, or you can have your headline and first five lines.
Are you really making your headlines and your first paragraph whizz-bang enough to make me want to click through to read the rest of your post?
And if you want comments, you're probably asking a question at the end.
You know, the end I'm not reading because you only gave me a partial feed.
Why make it harder on yourself?
Reason 3: So I will come and click on your ads.
Fair enough. You better make that headline and first paragraph REALLY enticing.
Bottom line: Do you want five lines to convince me to come visit, or do you want your whole post to do the job?
Fact is, I read every post in my reader. A few from the group blogs, I might skim. I click over to comment in about 4 - 15 a day. In the past month, I have clicked over to partial feeds ... zero times. Okay, maybe once.
Google Reader does not let me read partial feeds on my palm, darnit.
Are you a feed reader? And if so, do you click over to partial feeds? If you don't read feeds, how do you know when people update their site? Or do you just visit every day, regardless? If you have a partial feed on your site (Sorry, I love you anyway, you know that!), why a partial feed and not a full feed?